Poul Jorgensen Dead at 78

Poul Jorgensen Dead at 78

Opening Day and a Tribute to Poul Jorgensen April 1 - 2, 2005

Jim Krul

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — MARCH 1, 2005 — The first weekend of April 2005 not only marks the opening of New York State trout season, but is the date of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum's [CFFCM] tribute to the "World's Greatest Fly Tyer," Poul Jorgensen. On Friday, April 1st, CFFCM welcomes fishermen and visitors to make their first ceremonial cast on the Beaverkill and Willowemoc and then return to the museum at 10:00 a.m. to view new exhibits including: Flies From New Zealand, Roland Harriman: Banker & Fisherman, The Art of the Angler, and a new permanent installation celebrating the life of Poul Jorgensen. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., take the chill off the day with a cup of Agnes Van Put's famous "Opening Day Soup." Starting at 1:00 p.m., world renowned fly tyer and author, Floyd Franke, will take center stage as the first CFFCM's first guest fly tyer of the year and demonstrate his latest creations until the museum's closing at 4:00 p.m.


Opening Day Weekend continues on Saturday, April 2nd with CFFCM's tribute to Poul Jorgensen. At 11:30 a.m., CFFCM members, visitors, and guests will gather in the museum to celebrate Jorgensen's life. Poul gently passed away in his sleep this past November and is missed throughout the world of fly fishing. A multimedia presentation by award-winning videographer, Jimmy Ienner, Jr. will be previewed, followed by guest speakers. The program will culminate in a moment of silence and the casting of feathers into the wind from the museum's balcony. A memory book will be available for visitors to sign and to document their stories or anecdotes experienced with Poul and later be presented to his family. At 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, before CFFCM closes for the day, join the fly fishing community in a new event: the first annual Opening Day Blind Fly Tying contest featuring CFFCM members.


Throughout the weekend, the CFFCM gift shop will have many new items, including some of Poul Jorgensen's fly tying tools and materials. So mark your calendars to be in Livingston Manor on April 1st and 2nd as you join fellow anglers and friends to kick off a new fishing season and pay tribute to Poul Jorgensen, who gave the fly fishing community a life of giving.

Fly-tying world loses a master


Fly Fisherman Magazine


Poul Jorgensen died November 29, 2004, in his sleep at his home in Roscoe, New York, on the banks of Willowemoc Creek. He was 78. Perhaps the world's best known fly tier, Jorgensen practiced fly tying daily until his death. Indicative of his philosophy, he was often heard to say, "when you feel your fly tying cannot improve, it's time to get rid of your tying stuff and take up golf." Born and raised in Odense, Denmark, Jorgensen made his home

in the United States for over 45 years. Best known for his work with Atlantic salmon flies, Jorgensen was also a talented and innovative tier of salt flies, ultra-realistic flies, bass bugs, and trout flies. He taught angling, authored

books, lectured, and produced videos until his death. In 1969 at age 44, Jorgensen left his engineering job and made fly tying his full time profession. In 1973 he published his first book, Dressing Flies for Fresh and

Salt Water. He has since authored five additional works including his famous Salmon Flies, Their Character, Style and Dressing. In 1980 on his way home to Baltimore from a fishing trip in New Hampshire he passed through Roscoe, New York, and spotted a small fishing cottage for rent. He made his home in that cottage on the banks of the Willowemoc until his death. Featured in numerous articles including those in the Wall Street Journal and

National Geographic, Jorgensen received much acclaim and many honors during his long career, but none that he held dearer than his induction into the Hall of Fame of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum in 2001. Dubbed "a fly tier's fly tier" Poul Jorgensen did much to enrich the sport of fly fishing and the art of fly tying. Poul once told me that fly fishing had been very kind to him and that he wanted to repay that kindness by giving back. I'd say the

books have been squared and then some.



Renowned fly-tier Poul Jorgensen dies at his Roscoe home

By Ramsey Al-Rikabi

Times Herald-Record


Roscoe – One day earlier this year, Poul Jorgensen burst through the door of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center

and Museum, took off his hat, and told Jim Krul he was quitting. "You can't quit, Poul. You're not really an employee," Krul, the acting director at the time, told him. "And besides, who else will I get to come and do all this work for free." Jorgensen thought for a moment and decided Krul had a point – as one of the best fly-tiers in the world, Jorgensen had no choice but to donate his time and energy to advancing the sport he championed and loved. Jorgensen died in his sleep Monday night at his home in Roscoe. He was 78. The author of several acclaimed books on fly-tying, Jorgensen learned to fly-tie in the late 1960s in Chicago

after retiring from a career as a mechanical engineer. Jorgensen was probably best known for his artistic

mastery of the Atlantic salmon fly, one of the most intricate and challenging flies of the tying art. In 2001, he

was inducted into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame in Livingston Manor. "I have known fly-tiers all over the word, and I regard Poul as probably the best technical fly-tier," said longtime friend Lefty Kreh, another fly-fishing luminary. People would come to the Catskills just to meet Jorgensen and get their picture taken with him.

"But he was very approachable," said Krul. "He would stop and help the most novice tier and give them a personal lesson." Jorgensen was born and raised in Denmark and his job as a mechanical engineer led him to South America in the early 1960s. He spoke no Spanish, but left six years later – fluent and married (he's twice divorced) with two children. Those who knew him remember his great sense of humor and dependability. He had a medium build, but walked tall. He had a short, cropped white beard and spoke with a slight, but distinct Danish accent. Most of all, he was selfless. He volunteered his time to teach at workshops and at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum, which is located in Livingston Manor. "He was passionate about our sport," said Joan Wulff, an acclaimed fly-fisherman and author. "He gave of himself, that's the biggest thing."


Opening Day 2005 Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum

Opening Day 2005 began with a chill in the air on Friday, April 1st, but that didn’t stop a crowd of more than 100 people from gathering at Junction Pool. As tradition, area bed & breakfast owners served a light buffet to those hardy anglers and the Roscoe Chamber of Commerce provided welcome cups of hot coffee. By 7:00 a.m., celebrity first casters James Prosek and Tom Colicchio were readying their gear and the first cast was made around 7:15 a.m. By 8:00 a.m. a few trout had been hooked and folks started moving off to other fishing areas. At 10:00 a.m. the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum opened its doors on another fishing season. Many anglers took advantage of the warm day and blue skies to stop by CFFCM to view our new exhibits and to have a book signed by James Prosek. But the true draw of the day was Agnes Van Put and her homemade soup – as much a tradition of Opening Day as first cast at Junction Pool! This year Agnes delighted the crowd with three varieties – carrot/ginger, split pea, and beef barley – and visitors kept coming back for more until the last drop was gone. The afternoon featured Floyd Franke at the tying desks where he shared tips on fly tying. Friday was a long day but only marked the start of Opening Day weekend as Saturday would be an equally important event for the Catskill

Fly Fishing Center & Museum – its tribute to Poul Jorgensen.Unlike Friday, Saturday’s weather was conducive to indoor activities as the day began with a drizzle that eventually turned into a downpour. But weather could not stop Poul’s friends and family from turning out to bid him farewell. By 11:00 a.m. it was standing-room-only in the museum with an estimated crowd of 125 people gathered to view Jimmy Ienner, Jr.’s documentary tribute that captured the essence of Poul’s spirit. After the video, guests were invited to share memories of Poul and then release a feather in his honor. Although it was a somber occasion, laughter would fill the gallery as people reminisced about Poul and wrote in the memory book on display near his exhibit area.